Trekking and caving in Transylvania

This photo blog is intended for all who are interested in hiking, trekking and caving in Transylvania. You don't have to live here. Even if you will probably never hike in Transylvania, you are welcome to read my trip reports and enjoy the photos. We do have some fantastic places here in Transylvania, high mountains, canyons, waterfalls and around 12,000 caves. So, check back frecvently, as updates happen very often.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A gorgeous day in the Bicaz Gorges

Bicaz Gorges is a natural reservation, famous for its impressive dimension and lovely scenery.

We have started our hike near the Gate of Hell, the point in which the Maria Stone and the Bardos Wall almost touch each other. Only a few meters downwards is the Hell's Porch.

From here, one can see the Stone of the Shrine, the Bardos Wall, the Black Tower, the rocky formation of Maria Stone and the rocks from Surducului Stone. There is an unfinished bridge,
called the Bridge of the Hungarians, at the mouth of the Bicajel brook. Here the marking leaves the main road and ascends to the Bicajel Gorges. Over the left bank of Bicaz river we can admire the Watchtower, a very interesting rock formation.

Following the yellow line marking, we crossed the bridge and continued our walk along the left bank of the Bicajel brook. In summertime, when the weather is fine, crossing is not a problem, but in the other periods crossing can be difficult. The tourist path ascends on the right bank of the brook. After a steep ascent in a forested region, we reached the belvedere points on the south-eastern slope of Surducului Stone.

We have started the second part of our hike, near the Waterfall cave and the Maria Spring. After a steep ascent we climbed on to the top of the Bardos Wall. Beneath us lies the Hell's Throat, the narrowest portion of Bicaz Gorges. From this panorama point, in front of us, we can see the Reservation of the Lost World, two natural reservations of Surducului Stone, the last place of refuge for certain plants like Taxus baccata. This places are accessible only for mountain climbers.

With over 250 climbing routes, Bicaz Gorges is considered the third greatest climbing area in Romania. Walls of 1180 feet and more with big ceilings in the final part. Medium to hard, and very hard difficulty. For free climbers and boulder climbers.

Finally, we reached the top of the Watchtower, our final destination with a nice view of the Bicaz Gorges. You can even see the Stone of the Shrine, only 3780 feet
height, but the most beautiful rock from Bicaz Gorges. The first man who climbed the peek of the Stone of the Shrine, was Zoltán Keresztes from Joseni, who climbed the rock barefooted, without a special equipment and in Seckler folk costume. His courageous act it is still remembered by the local community.